Not What I Expected
Aug 9, 2013 at 1:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

TeknicalXtacy

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Greetings all,
 
Recently bought a Rolls Bellari HA540 and AKG Q701's.  So I heard how crappy the stock tubes were and thought I would try a NOS tube.  So I bought a nice well balanced Telefunken 12AX7.  Tried it tonight and must say I am underwhelmed.  I can barely hear any difference listening to CD's.  In fact, blindfolded I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference consistently.
 
I am using the amp in conjunction with an ASUS Essence STX so I don't know if that is having an affect but for $80 bucks for the tube I can't see how it is worth it.
 
I know there are many factors from equipment to sound source to ear of the person listening but don't see what all the hub bub is about.
 
Aug 9, 2013 at 9:24 AM Post #2 of 8

TeknicalXtacy

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Does anyone have any experiences that are similar?  Am I missing something?  I read threads describing things like high end screech with today's stock tubes.  A screech to me is a very definite sound.  I get no high end "screech" from my stock tube, at least not that I am aware of having listened to the Telefunken.
 
I do hear that the Telefunken has more bass but it is a subtle difference.  Also the sound stage does seem to be slightly larger.  But again these differences are subtle enough to make one wonder if it is real or me wanting to hear something different.
 
I guess I am just wondering, as someone new to this, was I expecting to much.  Am I just not hearing it?  Am I hearing it and it simple is a lot more subtle then the descriptors people tend to use to describe it?
 
Aug 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM Post #4 of 8

mvrk10256

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So how about a real world check. 
 
ABX testing has shown consistently and repeatedly that most people cant tell the difference between $100 and $1000 amps or headphones and $2 vs $1000 cables. 
 
Everything is what you make of it. If you dont like the sound of the tube return it/sell it. Experiment till you find the sound you like. There is nothing wrong with using cheap gear that sounds great. 
 
Aug 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM Post #6 of 8

TeknicalXtacy

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So how about a real world check. 
 
ABX testing has shown consistently and repeatedly that most people cant tell the difference between $100 and $1000 amps or headphones and $2 vs $1000 cables. 
 
Everything is what you make of it. If you dont like the sound of the tube return it/sell it. Experiment till you find the sound you like. There is nothing wrong with using cheap gear that sounds great. 

 
It's not that I didn't like the sound. It just did not impart a change to the sound that seemed to be stated in the myriad of posts that say, basically, stock tubes suck, NOS tubes great. For those new to the hobby posts of that kind, based on my limited experience, are very misleading.
 
Aug 9, 2013 at 6:18 PM Post #7 of 8

jacal01

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Usually quality NOS vs. current issue tube differences are pretty discernible. If you can't distinguish between the two, your overall system SQ may be actually limited by some upstream component you're not considering. That's why members keep harping about system component synergy, much like circuit design topology usually transcending individual component quality.
 
Along those lines, is the amp circuit design even sensitive to tube rolling? Some hybrid designs aren't. Or, given the product entry level, the amp SQ may be limited by other component quality issues and/or circuit implementation compromise. You may be expecting too much out of a simple tube upgrade.
 
And then, there's also burn-in.  If it's true NOS, then the tube may not open up until after some 50+ hours of play.  Come back and report after you've clocked maybe 200 hours on the tube.  Is the standard issue tube even burned in?  If not, what you may be comparing are two tubes in their initial closed voicing.
 
OTOH, you might well be tone deaf. 
wink.gif

 
Aug 9, 2013 at 11:42 PM Post #8 of 8

TeknicalXtacy

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Quote:
Usually quality NOS vs. current issue tube differences are pretty discernible. If you can't distinguish between the two, your overall system SQ may be actually limited by some upstream component you're not considering. That's why members keep harping about system component synergy, much like circuit design topology usually transcending individual component quality.
 
Along those lines, is the amp circuit design even sensitive to tube rolling? Some hybrid designs aren't. Or, given the product entry level, the amp SQ may be limited by other component quality issues and/or circuit implementation compromise. You may be expecting too much out of a simple tube upgrade.
 
And then, there's also burn-in.  If it's true NOS, then the tube may not open up until after some 50+ hours of play.  Come back and report after you've clocked maybe 200 hours on the tube.  Is the standard issue tube even burned in?  If not, what you may be comparing are two tubes in their initial closed voicing.
 
OTOH, you might well be tone deaf. 
wink.gif


LOL!  Alright, I let it burn in.  And thanks.
 

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